Fiber-Optic Flow Sensor for the Measurement of Inspiratory Efforts in Mechanical Neonatal Ventilation
A novel fiber-optic flow sensor has been developed for monitoring inspiratory efforts during neonatal mechanical ventilation. The considered sensor is based on fiber-optic sensing techniques, allowing the reduction of the effects due to electromagnetic interferences and a possible improvement of the electrical safety conditions. In the arrangement described here, the fiber-optic sensor is able to measure, with an accuracy of 5 %, flow variations in the range between 0.5 l/min and 5 l/min that are the typical flow variations due to infants’ inspiratory attempts and typical flow trigger levels set during assist-control ventilation (ACV). Moreover, a good agreement (r 2 = 0.998) between experimental data and the parabolic theoretical model can be deduced. The metrological characteristics confirm that the novel proposed configuration for the optical fiber air flow sensor is suitable for monitoring flow variations due to infants’ inspiratory attempts.
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